Aubade w/Muybridge & ADHD meds

By Jocelyn Deane

Reading braille of your rented flat
like a dating of prehistoric films
showed me on YouTube:
every image broken down to
component frames: 
finger daubings of your sons
a Fisher and Paykel fridge,
the lassos of handwriting lessons,
the epicycle of a first capital P. 
Bodies are motionless at 24
frames per second: a horse
split into 24 kinds
of still, legs fixed. You measure
the left bed-side: nothing but
pyjama shorts, blue-satin, kitschy as sleep. 
Before bed, drinking masala, we ration 
beta-blockers, every
    -  one falls somewhere on . 
the spectrogrammmm… you sleep-talk as I return 
to my body— counting until dawn— until 

I wanted to write an Aubade, while avoiding/reworking the historic connotations of the tradition. In this case, the ekphrastic element, and how it de/familiarizes mental illness, worked in my favour, creating what Anne Carson calls a “triangulation effect”, by which the three points of the poem— the ekphrasis, mental illness and the aubade— give each other the space to feed into each other, while remaining oblique enough to sustain a sense of conceptual openness.    

Josie/Jocelyn Deane is a writer/student at the university of Melbourne. Their work has appeared in Cordite, Southerly, Australian Poetry and Overland, among others. They were one of the recipients of the 2013 457 visa poetry/ shortlisted for the 2015 Marsden and Hachette prize for poetry. They live on unceded Wurundjeri land. 

%d bloggers like this: